We have been looking at examples of persons who were obedient ONLY to a certain point. In essence they rejected the authority of Scripture and did not follow Jesus or the apostles as they should. Yet, there were the Roman believers who “become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed” (Romans 6:17). They are commended by Paul.
When Paul discovered Timothy at Lystra and heard how “he was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium, Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him” (Acts 16:1-3). There was a spiritual father/son relationship between these two men that God used to become a model in the Church for developing faithful leadership.
When we read Paul’s last letter, which was written to Timothy, he says; “You…have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings” (2 Timothy 3:10-11). That word “followed” means “to make an extensive effort to trace, carefully investigate and verify all the details.” From this list we can see that there was nothing about Paul’s life that Timothy did not know and learn from. Paul further presses the point in verses 14-15; “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed…you have been acquainted with the sacred writings which are able to make you wise for salvation.” These statements leave us with no doubt or question that Timothy was a faithful servant who obeyed the teaching.
There was a ministry that Timothy had to fulfill after Paul was executed (4:5). It would require this degree of faithfulness that Paul confirms. The question is whether we are committed to this degree? We will never produce other faithful Timothys unless we have risen to a level of dedication and commitment we see in Timothy, Paul’s spiritual son. Are you accepting a lower standard? What you pass on to others will be based on what they see in you, not just what you say.
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